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Active surveillance provides a viable alternative to surgery for small kidney masses, study suggests

Date:
October 17, 2012
Source:
Wiley
Summary:
Active surveillance of small kidney masses is a safe and effective alternative to immediate surgery, with similar overall and cancer specific survival rates, according to a new study.

Active surveillance of small kidney masses is a safe and effective alternative to immediate surgery, with similar overall and cancer specific survival rates, according to a study published in the November issue of the urology journal BJUI.

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The technique is primarily used to treat elderly patients who have complex health issues or decline surgery. But researchers from the Department of Urology at Churchill Hospital, Oxford, UK, say that the results of their study suggest that active surveillance could safely be extended to other selected patients.

"The incidence of kidney cancer has been increasing in Europe and the USA since the 1980s and the use of more sophisticated imaging techniques means that smaller masses of less than 4cm are being picked up at earlier stages" says lead author Dr Nilay Patel.

"This has led to an increased rate of surgery for small kidney masses, but the benefits of this remain unclear. Conflicting reports on improvements in death rates for kidney cancer over the last few years suggest that increased detection may not necessarily be improving survival rates for patients with smaller tumours inside their kidney."

A total of 202 patients with 234 small renal masses of less than 4cms inside their kidney -- classified as T1a -- were identified.

Ninety were managed with partial nephrectomy (where only the diseased part of the kidney is removed), 41 with a radical nephrectomy (where the entire kidney is removed) and 71 with active surveillance (where patients are monitored for disease progression).

Key findings included:

  • Over a median follow-up of 34 months, the mean growth rate of the kidney masses in patients who were under active surveillance was 0.21cm. However, 53 per cent of the small renal masses in these patients showed negative or zero growth.
  • No statistically significant differences were observed in overall and cancer-specific survival rates for patients who were under active surveillance or received partial or radical nephrectomy.
  • The overall survival rates were 83 per cent for active surveillance, 80 per cent for radical nephrectomy and 90 per cent for partial nephrectomy.
  • The cancer specific survival rates were 99 per cent for active surveillance, 93 per cent for radical nephrectomy and 97 per cent for partial nephrectomy.

"Our research suggests that active surveillance of small kidney masses offers similar cancer outcomes to radical or partial surgery in the short and intermediate term" says Dr Patel.

"The results of this study support the need for a multicentre, prospective randomised trial to compare how active surveillance and surgery compare when it comes to managing such patients."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Nilay Patel, David Cranston, M. Zeeshan Akhtar, Caroline George, Andrew Jones, Aaron Leiblich, Andrew Protheroe, Mark Sullivan. Active surveillance of small renal masses offers short-term oncological efficacy equivalent to radical and partial nephrectomy. BJU International, 2012; 110 (9): 1270 DOI: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2012.11130.x

Cite This Page:

Wiley. "Active surveillance provides a viable alternative to surgery for small kidney masses, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121017091726.htm>.
Wiley. (2012, October 17). Active surveillance provides a viable alternative to surgery for small kidney masses, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121017091726.htm
Wiley. "Active surveillance provides a viable alternative to surgery for small kidney masses, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121017091726.htm (accessed February 28, 2015).

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